The biggest hack in Facebook’s history occurred when nearly 50 million people had their personal data compromised.
This cyber attack forced Facebook to reset the logins for another 40 million people racking up the total of affected Facebook users to 90 million.
While the first 50 million are known to have been directly affected, the login reset for the other 40 million was done as a precaution by the social media giant.
A Facebook software vulnerability caused the data breach. In other words, cyber criminals were able to exploit the feature “View As” and steal Facebook access information.
If you don’t already know, “View As” is a feature that lets Facebook users see what their profile looks like to someone else.
By gaining access to users Facebook accounts, cyber criminals were able to get their hands on sensitive information such as the DOB of the affected people and their friends, Facebook activity history, full name, addresses and generally everything that they’ve shared on Facebook.
Facebook apologized and confirmed that the breach had been large.
The scary thing is, once in, the hackers gained access to apps like Spotify, Instagram and hundreds of other websites that give users a way to log into their systems through Facebook.
So, even though 50 million Facebook accounts were compromised, there are untold numbers of other accounts that were also compromised since many people use Facebook to login for other websites.
The reality is, 71% of American have a Facebook account. In addition, Facebook has 2.4 billion monthly active users and it is the third most visited website in the world.
Taking into account these facts, Facebook uses many tools to track people across the Internet, and they rely on the online activity data from other apps and websites that is shared with Facebook.
This is why I want to share with you a vital security measure you should have in place if you use Facebook or any app associated with the social networking behemoth.
Basically, after facing criticism over privacy and data breaches, Facebook created a privacy tool called Off-Facebook Activity, which gives users more control of their data collected by the company.
In other words, this is information Facebook has collected about you from other websites, information that can contain more personal information than you ever want to share.
So, here is how you delete this information from Facebook:
To access Off-Facebook Activity tool:
· Go to “Settings & Privacy” in your Facebook app, then select “Settings”
· Select “Off-Facebook Activity.” On the next screen, you are provided with a list of all the websites and apps that have shared your data with Facebook.
· Select “Clear History” to remove all the information collected about you from other websites. However, by clearing the history you may be logged out of certain websites where you have used your Facebook login.
In this same section of Facebook settings, you can download activity details by clicking on the number of interactions and clicking Download Activity Details at the bottom of the popup.
Of course, this feature won’t stop websites from collecting data about you, however, by clearing the history you can disassociate your Facebook account from other websites.
When it comes to advertising, websites love to get your Facebook information because it contains so many personal details, but this simple step will help reduce the sharing of your personal information if you clear the history often.
(Or just don’t use Facebook at all.)